The SFFaudio Podcast #699 – READALONG: The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #699 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Bryan Alexander talk about The Doomed City by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky.

Talked about on today’s show:
Strugatsky, 1989 kind of, 1972, late 1960s, how to classify this book’s publication story, who had read this before, Roadside Picnic, weird late publication, Stalker (1979), 2017 audiobook, the afterword, the introduction, Soviet science fiction, literature in the Soviet Union, Red Plenty, if a book doesn’t have a manuscript, if it doesn’t get read by readers it doesn’t exist, the carbon copy, a book that can frustrate people, not really a science fiction novel as much as it is an existential novel, a role playing game made out of this setting, a worker in a big office building, possessed vending machines, Control, freak your shit out, single player video game, garbage worker, baboons show up, wander off into the North, jump off the precipice, Disco Elysium, strange philosophical conversations, skill tree, intrusive thoughts, weird psychology, hilarious, playing it straight, completely deranged, develop different relationships with people, a meta, did this book remind you of any books?, Dark City (1998), an undefined place and time, 1950s Leningrad, Driftwood by Marie Brennan, fantasy kingdom, squeezed towards the center, City At the End Of Time by Greg Bear, dream-like reality, the Red Building, Cinnabar [by Edward Bryant], M. John Harrison’s Viriconium series, resonance, Plato’s The Republic, The Just City by Jo Walton, The Investigation by Stanisław Lem, the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer, To Our Scattered Bodies Go, chess board, internal stuff, John Brunner’s The Squares Of The City, moving people around, Charles Stross’ Missile Gap, an Alderson disc, ICBMs no longer work, the Siege Of Leniningrad, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard, The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, Last Exit by Max Gladstone, the pyramid, A Maze Of Death, Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick, Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, amalgamated and reconstituted, a book about art, The Wall Of Darkness by Arthur C. Clarke, Super Science Stories, July 1949, Hannes Bok, Virgil Finlay, distinctive styles, contemplating a stairway and holding a Möbius strip, an Elon Musk style character funds a stairway to see over a wall, awesome story, an Omni story, The Infinite Plane by Paul J. Nahin, Travel By Wire by Arthur C. Clarke, the food becomes poison, the clock of the Long Now [Foundation], left handed food, no comparative thoughts, The Truman Show (1998), artificial worlds, the Soviet context, the heroic stage, friendly with a Nazi, the end, art and culture being the greatest good, the Temple, powerful writing, the Siege of Leningrad, I was in Cambodia, I was in Waco with Koresh, the most lethal, a rival source of power, the Soviet center, the great strategist, playing chess with human bodies, another Omni story, imaginary numbers, math fiction, a Soviet peasant makes a set of chessmen, capitalists vs. workers, enchantment, how chess can be played, it doesn’t matter if your king is taken, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the truth is whatever I tell you it is, angel/alien, a deeply flawed main character, he wants to leave the library, an emblem, not answering that stuff, this is us on Earth here, randomocracy, it’s just happening, the ethnography, Swedes, Germans, Koreans, an American with a cowboy hat, that open time, so global, the existential element, everybody is here, we’re told it is voluntary, you died there, bud, a camouflaged criticism, everybody will become communist, continue the program, lacking geographic specificity, NATO, good branding, if you have faith, there are no kids in this city, a garbage collector to a policeman to the mayor to the president to the leader of an expedition, doctors too?, a lawyer, bricklayer, somewhat failing experiment, it can only be failed, out of control, German efficiency, a classic utopian thing, The Lottery In Babylon by Jorge Luis Borges, a gardener, a response to a reality, you can not fall any further, a stoic philosophy, choosing not to be upset, willing to suffer the swamps, pleasant swamps, 1950s gulag, city/country divide, the farmers, the Truckers this week, coming into the city in a convoy, one of these farmers has a machine gun, we need that machinegun to get rid of the baboons, policies made in extremis, German POWs lodged with farmers, trapped on the continent, we called that slavery, 3rd amendment to the U.S. constitution, the baboon invasion, a metaphor for something, Dan Simmons’ The Terror, leaded meat, going insane, the crystal palace, endless plain, monsters, a premonition, the giant statue, an obvious super-metaphor, Stalin and Lenin statues, William Hope Hodgson, the heat death of the Solar System, The Night Land, geothermal energy, an anti-city, wireless transmission, a horseless knight with a circular saw, a geological force, a 17th century gentleman, existential and talky, a classical romance in an insane setting, there is meaning in images and events, we are not privy, the stuff that is not there, the guy who issues the toilet paper, important notes, committee meeting minutes, a curious puppy, playing the game in his way, giggling at everything, anti-semitism, he gets the last word, he’s the brains of the operation, physically jewish, an engagement with judaism, what the temple is about, producing culture, respecting the intellect, the people of the book, Jerusalem and Moscow, crazy reviews, misogyny, skank (not slattern), a Soviet style phrase, whiny sluts, wankrags for the guys, udders, in the police station, I don’t have that file, we don’t know everybody’s backstory, how could you?, no woman’s perspective, the basic pass on this is they are in Hell, Earth is Hell, capable of receiving pain, if you want to stay alive you have to kill, what are we to do, the experiment is the experiment, the devil god, hunger isn’t the problem we just don’t have enough food, our swedish friend, the military skank, they pickup somehow, everything that’s elided, previous iterations of the city, left incomplete, going downstairs to sleep with her, corrupted, WWII into the 1970s, a story of disillusionment, very Colonel Kurtz, Aguirre, The Wrath Of God (1972), the book begins with shit, the book ends with shit, reflected things, her beautiful white pristine legs, scabs bruises and abscesses, physically degenerating, their will is breaking, a blank landscape allows for deep reflection, Lena on Goodreads:

Depressing surreal social criticism that pretends to be a sci-fi. The parody on communism and soviet propaganda is quite obvious, but the story also takes deeper study of human society and nature. One star for misogyny, disgusting realism and unnecessary cruelty. Moreover authors didn’t give any explanation to the world-building nor uncover any plot’s mysteries.

where the reader has gone wrong, a funhouse mirror, through a mirror darkly, satire makes it sound like its fun, showing us truths, a misogynistic, its already in the world, when the revolution happens, sees the results, the emphasis on diarrhea and dysentery, things start in the gutter, a shit job, simple, available for you to see, the opening was terrific, The tanks were rusty, dented, and their lids were lose, potato husks, the mouth of an unkempt indiscriminate food pelican, a competent cop, it’s going to be gone when they get there, Andre is pretty incompetent, he doesn’t want to understand, haunted by the end, the temple speech, humanities, an astronomer, a sky that has one star and doesn’t move, Theodore Sturgeon’s Microcosmic God, the neoterrics, Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, just neglect, the humanities vs. the sciences, the mute mentor, circles, the emphasis on fecal matter, the afterlife, blast away at somebody, there’s no art in this city, all these shitty pulp magazines, no great writers, no great poets, a complaint, they’re not here, in the outer world, always in development, a very meta-book, its hard to write good art, are we writing good art?, a book review inside of a book, showing television in Robocop (1987), a condemnation of society, abundance riots, Nazi art, I don’t understand anything, reveal the truth about their world, the truth of the Red building, all will be revealed, nope, the authors know what they’re doing, Roadside Picnic [Stalker (1979)], Swiftian misanthropy, American conservative literature, apes and monkeys as a critique of Darwin, that realistic, that bestial, casually fucking in the streets, monkeys, an incredibly dark view, aren’t we?, a fishtank, to quote Marlowe, a decisive ending, raising our science fiction and fantasy hope, a meta-science fiction book, not a fantasy, following the rules, fantastic, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, Plato’s The Republic, H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, crappy adventure stories, later you became obsessed with it, the strivings of a story like The War Of The Worlds are to put us in our place, this is what you really are, have yourself humbled, we are humbled, a mimetic sense, what would we do if we were placed in this very strange RPG, more shit is around the next corner, worship at the temple in the crystal palace, William G. Shepherd, Omni, Discovery, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, is that the best we can hope for?, a minority adds to and maintains the temple, the temple persists, participate in keeping the temple going is a great way of life, six months of a magazine, nobody’s going to look at them, a friend in Australia, the little builder, somebody else’s job, its not Jesse’s job to put Jesse’s statue up in the temple, his job is to polish the temple steps, and point people in the right direction to find the right book inside the temple if they come by, maybe call them in from the street, no donation needed, they walk by and spit on Jesse, coral reef, all of our art, if you’re not creating, hiding hoping the squid doesn’t eat him, Jesse the clownfish, Hemingway, drunk, pedophile, Dostoevsky was an extreme right-winger, the temple creators are flawed, the canon contains shit but it has beauty within the shit, horrible creators, whatever politics is now, cancel culture, the pederast Tchaikovsky, thief and gallows-bird, O. Henry was an embezzler, Ezra Pound, open fascist, defender of the Soviet Union, defending human rights abuses, the temple that endures, whatever flag people are waving, holding up the flag, wearing a flag is an act that is very different, planting a flag on your house, when the flags come out, in division, this doomed city, it’s important, nationalities are incidental, all united as doomed, yesterday’s enemy, when you strip them of the flag, this kind of work is important, a suggestive sketch, points it’s making, high poetry, as an aesthetic way to be, endings are disappointing (usually), where it takes you to emotionally, did he shoot himself?, he met himself and he shot himself, it’s left open, capable of killing the best person we know, capable of self destruction, capable of destroying other human beings, he pulled a pistol out of the holster, tall tattered exhausted with a dirty beard, a return shot, he doesn’t check his cap, not being able to recognize this other, a mirror, he’s shooting himself, sitting in his tent, all the possible things he can do to avoid what needs doing, how you maintain discipline, these are animals, the traditional way of doing it, The One Black Stain by Robert E. Howard, Solomon Kane, Sir Francis Drake, Magellan, returns to England, you can now murder people because you are a chief of an expedition, the maritime tradition, they are the law, they can marry people, the dominant navy on the planet, unless you’re a pirate and have signed the articles, a precedent, you’re a bad person, you’re a coward, the Golden Hind, head in hands, wracked with doubt, the misery of having killed a friend for a wrong reason, we put ourselves in these Hells, regretting or doubling down, I didn’t choose to be here, nobody explains how the , no authorial infodump for us, the anti-Neal Stephenson, the thermodynamics of the big wall, deal with it, what does it mean that the sun is off, is it a coincidence?, is it a sign?, about to become a dictator, the Russian kitchen drinking scene, here it is, they’re all completely disagreeing with each other but not actually coming to blows over anything, it’s just talk, pretty deep, not something we see in American literature that often, written about drinking, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a manly thing to do, a classy thing to do, very realistic, all the russian drinking, before the blackout, the snacks, all the stages of inebriation, a positive, a bright spot, the party, Raymond Chandler, a rich guy drinking himself to death, set in Los Angeles, blendy, Dashiell Hammett, hiding the truth of reality by drinking, Mike Hammer, American detective stories are about uncovering reality, that guy was beating his wife, somebody died, his daughter killed herself, hiding the truth through alcohol vs. a communal defiance against the reality they already acknowledge, the vomiting, more thoughts, Herodotus on the persian court, Peter the Great, the drunken synod of fools, Stalin plying with vodka, in vino veritas is legit, WWII, Churchill couldn’t go 2 weeks without his prescription alcohol, Nixon drunk, Yeltsin, russians thought he drank too much, Voltaire’s conclusion Candide, a dark russian take on Candide, zoom out a bit, one last russian thing, awkward conversations, the extreme opposite of Frank Herbert’s conversations, it’s painful to read, I don’t understand what you’re saying, the dialogue is very fun, pulling out 10,000 quotes, a commonplace book, self-journal, write down your dreams, a diary is very narcissistic, what twitter is for Jesse (a commonplace book), Paul’s Miscellany, whoever exercises power, man has to have a goal, hence the expedition, hence the experiment, we’ve got to do something, general outrage, goals and enemies, very easy to be uncharitable, words on a page, you don’t need to be outraged about everything, a set of beliefs is dangerous, a blob of ideas I’m currently carrying around, squish some of them, taking a model of what someone else is saying, how other people’s mannerisms work, ongoing public conversation, these vast swaths of people who comment, a massive list of comments, they’re talking to themselves, this is what you do because , when you see Jesse on twitter it’s because he has to wait 15 seconds, in the before times (pre-covid), monitoring mentions, believing in the conversation, great for connecting with people, a really interesting bookshelf, detecting outrage, plugins, moderate your anger, road rage is like twitter isolation, indistinct, a look of concentration and fear (or don’t), this person is the worst human being in the entire world, essentially bad drivers, perfectly nice people, an excuse for it, it’s hard not to be a hypocrite, how good is that narration?, he had a voice for everybody, good show, good take, by special request of Chowbacca, a random twitter guy, exactly, a fan of the show, looking forward to everyone’s thoughts, thank you so much @chowbacca415. make the temple as pretty and nice as possible, the temple is a library, trucks being impounded, ready when you are, Mentor, Mentor is actually Athena (in The Odyssey), how to deal with Circe, some of the characters are on hands experimenters, Touched By An Angel, like Quantum Leap but for christians, make things right, a science fiction explanation, mentoring, pedagogy, the last words of the book in russian, stacks of firewood, there’s a lot of burning to come, a demon or a devil, Athena’s hobby horse for Odysseus, he’s the wise and wily one, Heracles gets a special interest from Zeus, as a psychological story, Nietzsche, no psychological depth, Get Smart, cone of silence room, a black room, an anti-room somewhere in the house, there’s a metaphor there for you.

The Doomed City

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The SFFaudio Podcast #677 – READALONG: The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #677 – Jesse and Connor Kaye talk about The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher

Talked about on today’s show:
Capitalist Realism, Connor’s suggestion, Watcher By The Threshold by John Buchan, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood is both weird and eerie, column of souls, an intrusion from outside, an otter or a man, an absence as opposed to a presence, what is vs. what isn’t there, a sense of agency, a force, an important distinction, building a concept on top, involving agency, Connor’s essay on folk horror, a disconnection between us, it meant something to somebody but it doesn’t mean that to us, disconnection through time, Stonehenge, folk horror is an eerie genre not a weird genre, a very interesting book, a David Lynch movie, Twin Peaks, seen most of the movies, heard none of the music, this book presented itself, the new chapter, that’s eerie, following a similar path (and seeing his life path ending), a despairing: Is There Any Alternative?, Blue Velvet (1986), is this weird or ear-y?, a sock on the side of a road, clothing or shoes, Spike Jonze’s How They Get There (1997), something curious vs. something eerie, sounds vs. manifestations, interchangeable, synonyms, Ghost Stories, Strange Stories, there’s something the name, Analog vs. Astounding, weird seems more common than eerie, a misunderstanding, weird interactions in your daily life, unusual and eerie are not really synonyms, its hard to create the sense of eeriness, shocking is easier, he wrote it after he’s dead, radical narrative modes, transcendental shock, de-centering the human subject, denaturalizing, Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975), Brian Eno, The Fall, Under The Skin (2013), better without the explanation, eeriness, its weird as well, Annihilation (2018), I’m watching this Russian movie with bad translation, the Andrei Tarkovsky movies, like 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) with a foreign language, Siberia, make so coffee?, no just sit there, Dwayne Johnson, in a garbage mood (when you’re sick), when you’re ready and you’ve trained yourself, unusual if not weird, have the right expectations, what the hell is this?, Scarlett Johansson may be an alien, understand what you’re seeing, appreciate the atmosphere, concretize, Nigel Kneale Quatermass And The Pit (1967), the colour adaptation, a subway tunnel they find an unexploded bomb and apemen scientist, weirdness with science fiction, dispelling the eeriness, Quatermass and a lady, breathing heavily and staring off, the importance of the human spirit, ending with a purge, an unconscious memory (programming), ape men with weird heads is unusual, government pressure to reopen the station, Professor Quatermass, your civilian rocket program is a military program, Colonel Breen, a German propaganda weapon, meta-evidence, the area had been haunted for centuries, eerie phenomena explainable by what’s buried beneath Hobb’s End, aliens from Mars, we are their descendants, psychic stuff, we can infer it was science based, what the Martians were doing on their planet and what we were doing to ourselves, a program of exploration, othering the enemy, a political movie, very Doctor Who-like, stuff is happening and we might get a quasi-explanation for it, why Data disappeared, offering a meta-question, a connection in Mark Fisher’s brain, transcendental shock, we might need to despair, capitalism eats it up, seeing Mark Fisher’s stuff everywhere, AOC’s TAX THE RICH dress, a masked servant, once you see it it is hard to unsee it, commodifying the resistance to commodifying, the “Squad”, we need to create a “ruckus”, an unannounced event with staffers, Nancy Pelosi, a fake protest (a protest with permission from you boss), “mamma bear”, the appearance of change, those evil Republicans, performance rather than action, vote for the Speaker of the House (“force the vote”), the Canadian Federal Election 2021, they’ve always had a plan and that plan is to say they have a plan, different reasons for being for the pipeline, we wanna work on it, we don’t want to talk about it, the corruption isn’t unknown, the other team is more corrupt so we can’t do anything about it, apathy, stupor, I hate the people you hate, there are a lot of people in this country worthy of hate and you know who you are, Margaret Thatcher’s pro-market slogan “There Is No Alternative”, engaged with modern philosopher’s, Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Derrida, organic, the sentiment, the vibe of the thing, a tough book to read during lockdown working from home, music points, rebellion was commodified in music, Rage Against The Machine, a product sold for money, made ingenuine even if made from a genuine place, if Mao Zedong suddenly got popular, Che t-shirts, Lovecraft, a tweet from the Snickers account about student debt, Nihilist Arby’s tweets, nothing matters, eat Arby’s, Moonpie twitter, unemployed English grads, a billionaire in Scotland got it all locked up, smart people forced to sell shit, temporarily embarrassed millionaires, an elite class, a useless piece of paper in exchange, bone spurs, the sensitivity, AOC’s team, just a way to boost your brand, Snickers can’t sympathize, there’s no escape, you haven’t hung yourself yet, The Parallax View (1974), go live in the woods, drop out, a dirt floor, a quad bike, how to escape running Snickers twitter account, not in the marriage market, women tend to like to have linoleum floors, no need for a Roomba, lucking through life, parents don’t understand, the commodification of education, artificial barriers, to communicate difficult truths requires the right mindset, they need to be eat and be warm, shooting a film, wilderness in the UK, looking at the landscape, the Romantic poets, they experienced things, a nice short book, some connection between the sensitivity of certain people, he’s really sensitive to stuff, H.P. Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick are connected in a way that is not obvious, Time Out Of Joint, Lovecraft stories are generally weird (not eerie), poverty in the country, Australia is vast, an enclave surrounded by thousands of kilometers of no people, compared to England, depopulated vs. unpopulated, left behind, I can just live here, you have to build up capital, the story of us all, Connor’s cohort moved away, capital demands that you move, a mobile society, you have to move, deep connections, is choice real?, its not that Quatermass wants to kill all the people around him its just that’s what humans do, memory transmissions or activation, are those the ones we must kill?, everybody is on team lynch, The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, capital is an eerie concept conjured from nothing and it directs everything (its the invisible hand), shadowy, the way it influences people is eerie, The Red Riding trilogy, who kills him?, the opening scene, the Space Needle, Seattle, a parade, a politician on a float, glad-handing, assassination, an assassin for the assassin, JFK’s assassination, Oswald and Ruby, I’m a patsy, lots and lots of evidence that the official story is bullshit, forty minutes into the movie, Hobbs And Shaw (2019) is garbage, there is no other responsible party he can turn to, deceiving the cops, its almost like this movie is about science, papers on Ivermectin’s use for treatment of covid, we have to do our own investigations, subject to the capitalist forces all around us, the tenuous connections as seen in the film, what it is a good movie (it allows participation by the viewer), when he deceives his handler, a snipe hunt to Hawaii, the guy who was driving the politician, what makes it weird or eerie is it is an unusual even that is difficult to replicate, meat robots with computers in our heads, a strong (non obvious connection), vaccines and the eeriness of capital, motivated by gaining capital, corporations are free floating motivation, ally yourself with a corporate team, a strong impulse, countries outside of the system like Cuba is making vaccines too, selling off our infrastructure and talent, one of the weirdest things: health Canada name changes for vaccines, a banding exercise, Washington Redskins, if you a person with principles you will do badly under capitalism, capitalism needs flexibility from its workers, a class of people who live on rent from other people, and a class of people who live on rent from investment, bitcoin mining, if you are willing to compromise your principles capitalism is for you, left behind or forgotten, make this a hypothetical, a continual drive to do more with less, people are lining up to be exploited, Ernst & Young, exploited, behind the scenes, everyone wants to be the person noticed, coercive, you’re not a company man, more overtime, how that effects the modern family, one of the national, the Liberal federal government (in Canada) and the NDP provincial government, early cheaper childcare, we have institutions for that, what the fuck went wrong?, is there a bottom to this?, the French revolution, the food problem vs. the housing problem, students in his classroom, a kid was wearing headphones in class, a confabulated story, the real answer is the thesis of his book, i can’t even hear it, I am that guy and I know those kids, Jesse is a weird guy, bone conduction headphones, do two podcasts a week, an excuse to hide what Jesse’s really afraid of, students can’t read sentences because they’re boring, I’m not allowed to play computer games, girls have it easier for school, give him a sword and throw him into a war, built into us as creatures, programmed into us, wealthy kids or adopted by wealthy people, exposure to the classics of literature, there are people who buy books, most people don’t read at all, the way people interact with words, words as symbols, word pictures, resistant to hashtags, the value of hashtags is irony, hashtags are a great way to punctuate a joke, using hashtags unironically is scary, more difficulty focusing, in his own writing, Weird Al Yankovic, intellectual stimulation, radio from the 1970s, we have instant access to whatever kind of streaming we want, you can do images on twitter, what’s the appeal of Instagram, twitter threads, removing capitals or adding punctuation or the clap emoji, taking in words through their eyes, bad spelling on youtube comments, why should they be ashamed?, twitter doesn’t need an edit button, gaslit all the time?, everything goes down the memory hole, the PDF Page was down for three weeks, being lied to about what the reality was, OCR, people change things over the years, this was that, an anthology of stories from different authors, the skeleton of the thing rather than the thing itself, the editorial introduction can sometimes tell you how to read, reality is slippery enough as it is, no one has time to read these classic works of literature, books written to be book length, filler and examples, the school industry, audible audiobooks, fetishizing reading, H.P. Podcraft is essentially a story summary podcast, Jesse doesn’t summarize stories, talking about The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft, Surfacing by Margaret Atwood, Oryx And Crake, the argument Jesse makes to himself, an independent senator is shot, some other guy is shot, what kind of movie is it?, a crazy movie, these guys were indicted, it connects up, enter the contest, a core idea, the eerie events that happen with the film are all agented but not explained, innocuous events leading to innocuous events leading to unusual events, inferring there’s a bomb on the plane, this is the scientific process, your life my depend on a hypothesis, once we put our ideas out there that’s science, a consensus as to what was an wasn’t a good movie, a relatively new magazine, classic stories, technical objection, classic fiction from 2020?, we have some reprints too, the word “classic” is to bootstrap more sales, truth had value at one point, lying is something we think is bad because it interferes with our understanding with reality, what makes it true is that it has been tested and tested and tested over time, realism, what’s really happening?, what lie are we telling ourselves?, deep down you know it is a falsehood, sometimes it is genuine merit, some people have an ability to be productive, nepotism, how hard you seem to be working, Paul’s job, what happens, giving someone a promotion can create another problem, teachers grading themselves, outsourcing the job, whose the best shot in the unit?, teaching essay writing to grade 3 kids, eight year olds can’t write essays, judging essays, the factory Maoist element, what matters is they’re always making some improvement, make the writing fun for you, hauntology, Mr Jim Moon could be a BBC all by himself, defining people’s view of the present, 2022 is haunted by the past image of 2022, Back To The Future (1985), where’s my flying car?, we’re gonna be on Mars, optimism crumbling to pessimism, Jesse lived in a pirate town, the reason Star Wars (1977) looks the way it does is the WWII imagery, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, we’re haunted by the endless Star Wars, the VHS tapes and constant broadcasts on HBO damaged us, The Tempest by Willy Shakes, a live performance, professional actors, 400 years of performances are gone and snuffed out, we can watch Ant Man (2015) over and over and over again, the new technology, capitalism’s virus is infecting us the way it wasn’t before, where’s the Jesse?, a treatment for immortality that requires you to delete your personality, Elidor by Alan Garner, Among Others by Jo Walton, media engagement, oral and visual cultures lecturer, drawing connections and creating a larger picture, a whitish name, math and chemistry tutoring, trained to study, a phone shapes a kid, playing games all night or watching streams, computer or video games are better than reading, sleep hygiene, it has only become more relevant, the repetition of culture, What Is Hauntology? by Mark Fisher, the way neoliberalism tends to reproduce rather than promote novelty, having real estate in somebody’s head is capital, how many TV shows exist now? 540 scripted English language TV shows, primetime, 3 hours a night for scripted TV, how is it that we’ve come to be able to support a larger number of scripted TV shows?, we’ve colonized people’s brains, there’s more people, with streaming you can have more than would fit on a channel, ABC 1 and 2, reruns in primetime, the original Star Trek, 700 Star Trek episodes, Netflix might be running a scam, there’s no independent auditing, a tulip inflation thing, now there’s all these shows and I can’t trust the reviews, IMBD is not trustworthy, what is valuable now is honesty about what’s worth your time, we’ve reversed our interaction with reality, blogs don’t exist anymore, blogging has turned into videos, how he became famous, a revise feature on Twitter, google street view through archiving, the difficulty of the world we live in now, how Connor got into early podcasts, new releases/recent arrivals, be the thing you want to see in the world, off the cuff thinking, chunks of words, people read that way, construct information just from hashtags, a symbol that conveys a bunch of information, at the beginning of the web, a spinning gif, engaging through apps, the difference between apps and programs, Jesse doesn’t ask for feedback, a serious storm, if you ask for things you get it, soliciting comments, when things go wrong, what people like about the podcast, stuff where we go off topic, a weird catchup at the start of podcasts, ideas in science fiction, through characters (people who wrote those books), Isaac Asimov is more like an encyclopedia, Philip K. Dick will definitely hit on my wife, there’s no such real thing as going off topic, why Joe Rogan is popular, leading to interested places, the after show and the pre-show as extra material, Reading, Short And Deep is popular but has fewer downloads, older people enjoy the shorter format show, a little breathing room, everything is relevant even tangentially, its important to not overthink what people don’t tell you about, issue both praise and criticism, you can trust me and I can trust me, comics reviews, goddamn this art is so good, Providence by Jacen Burrows and Alan Moore, a deep passion in two directions, we should call out the crappy things, this show will be out in seven months, when shownoting later, wait six months and see how you feel, when 9/11, a cathode ray tube, “this is not going to go well”, they’re not going to do this right, see how politicians voted, what they said back then, keeping a consistency of character over a long period of time is the opposite of gaslighting, at what point in a movie do you say this is fucked I’m out of here?, if they don’t care why do I care?, a new world parrot in Europe in 1300, a set dresser or somebody didn’t care, the only reason they do things is: squeeze more money (out of this product in your head), things are becoming more generic, 5 Spider-Man reboots, way more weird movies, an independent weird fiction movie The Endless (2017), shitty capitalist jobs, Heaven’s Gate cult, Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, time relations, he’s really saying something, a shopping list, its our job to find the three things and say this is what you want, I am satisfied with the work, click a like button or rate out of five, iTunes reviews, the ratings are all gamed, fake followers, movies have incredible interest in doing this, Netflix’s rating system, a mini-scandal, manipulating you to trey to engage more, an existential movie disguised as a political thriller, The Stone Tape (1972), the reveal at the end, the way they portrayed the entity within the stones, Nigel Kneale has got the goods, real science fiction, an unlikable character but more real as a human being, Quatermass (1979), a millenarian end of the world, difficult concepts, they’re actually about the same thing, information within unalive objects, things that are dead, nothing is alive, somethings that are dead are temporarily alive, things that are locked inside, skulls, relics from five million years ago, there’s nothing alive there, in this race to compete, L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, trauma in our own lives, go clear, wouldn’t this be interesting?, why are we doing that? for reasons., there is no alternative, both of them start from a supernatural perspective, what mark Fisher is doing too, on the periphery of reality, I wasn’t doing this ironically, you don’t know what you’re doing, if you are a person who stood by principle you couldn’t have got in that position (or if you do what happens?), the company exists, who or what is running the company, somebody could do this, A Clockwork Orange (1971), that’s not a lie that’s a metaphor, people are subscribed to the Snickers account, the central argument of capitalist realism, is there any alternative?, a comedy thesis that could be true, the public square, gravity [monopoly], you’re a part of the system, Aaron Swartz, Unauthorized Bread by Cory Doctorow, Case from Neuromancer, creative commons, RSS, out from behind a paywall, blogs were killed, youtube, twitter, blogs, podcasts are the only thing that is left that is independent, Spotify, Audible has a podcast reader, the iPod and the ability to look for podcast submitted to iTunes, claim your podcast, just break the connection between the independent people, before Facebook there was MySpace, sharecropper, they killed this kid, Julian Assange, rentseeking, Jstor, he contributed so much to modern internet technology, not playing by the rules, not a billionaire and so he’s dead, writing about places you’ve never been, you don’t know how they go through a doorway, where does he plug in his iPhone, modern fantasy novels are Dungeons & Dragons, worldbuilding, when electricity came into being, how can you possibly teach me anything if the basic things you’re telling me are already wrong, does A Game Of Thrones have Earth’s Moon, a lot of nudity to distract us, a picture of Scott with George R.R. Martin, a floppy disk camera, the entourage of women, the con suite party, The Mystery Of Sylmare by Hugh Irish, Irish hue would be green, The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame, a fable with humans being the animals, a whisper version of The Wind In The Willows on Librivox, just a sex thing, proof listening, Wayne June, reading Edgar Allan Poe is way easier, a cosmicism poem for Reading, Short And Deep, one of the bests little sections, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, free as in speech or free as in beer?, gratis vs. libre, a good name for a political party: The Guillotine Party, all the billionaires get the chop but they all get ice cream, Elon Musk is last in line, we start from a position of guillotining everybody, when we get somebody up on the debate stage, the A.I. Party, we’ve tried the humans in charge and it isn’t working out, don’t let the Dems and the Repubs set the parameters for the debate, we kinda need a hardass, when Trump got kicked off twitter but was still president, these are all cops.

The Weird And The Eerie by Mark Fisher

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The SFFaudio Podcast #669 – READALONG: The Seascape Tattoo by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #669 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Seascape Tattoo by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes

Talked about on today’s show:
The Magic Goes Away, more Barnes than Niven?, collaborations, Burning Mountain, The Moon Bowl by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn, the bowlverse is unapproved, the book title, that’s a good title!, some adventure on the high seas, maritime book, Scott was not fond, a homage or a throwback to old sword and sorcery, not a lot there, Scott soft take, Niven has never grown past 12 years old, Paul was sadly underwhelmed, distasteful politics, a chore to get through, a lack of…, neat ideas, explorations of the consequences, the decline and fall of the magic empire, except for the stealing from the future, undercooked, Trish: it felt “like competent fan fiction”, all these tensions, a hacky ending for everyone, noir is the opposite of fan fiction, kill Captain Kirk in the first scene and say he’s dead forever, not expecting that much, the last or the most recent in a long series, doesn’t have the magic of the earlier books, the opening dedication: To my copious array of cousins, Fritz Leiber and Robert E. Howard, hey cousins, we all inherited a fortune, Niven’s contribution, not Niven heavy, Street Lethal, Lion’s Blood, Zulu Heart, alternate history, the black plague, slaves from Europe to Africa, interesting ideas, smooth competently written vs. Greg Bear, Donald Westlake or Lawrence Block, good plotting good characterization, everybody has a negative take except for…, second or third order implication, “this fantasy is not hard enough!”, up to the point they arrive in Shrike, other than stuff happening, the Scott rule was co-opted from Jesse, what Jesse has done to Scott, A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin, Scott has successfully pointed at something, a stuff happening book, there’s a lot of them, sub-series, a fix-up, The Burning City, 1969 – 1980, The Golden Road, chronologically closest to our own time, human sacrifice, necromancy, Atlantis sank, pockets of manna, just the setting, oh the sea!, manna in the ocean, more interesting than some random fantasy, treat magic as a science, phlogiston theory, bad science theories, is it rocks or is it space?, is it in material or position?, Roger Zelazny, meteorite bombardment, the magic sword is a meteoric iron sword, what about the ocean?, the water cycle, continental shelves and island, what makes a book good, participate in the book, some writers are bad at telling stories, thus he crossed the room, let the imagination get going, participating in the world, maybe that…, more of a stuff happens book, The Seascape Tattoo 2, revisiting a familiar idea, relatively short, the character jokes, all the cringey elements, the Larry Nivenisms, things that will get you canceled, Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex, 12 year old Niven vs. Neutron Star Niven, what is there was a way for us to trust each other wink wink, Niven on the phone: hey what if…, the princess tries to rescue herself, a Barnes thing, Ever After (1998), Paul signed up for the wrong book, a little bit Niven like: when the barmaid has a pivot waist, flexible women, pliable women, nipples didn’t go sprung, the relationship between Aros and his pseudo-mom and pseudo-dad, Eros vs. Aros, so decisively, did they chop it off?, somebody had to die, back to the kingdom, find the woman, abrupt?, a pretty bad Andre Norton novel Star Hunter, a kid gets kidnapped and brainwashed, the fake heir, an old trope, waaaay better, too rushed, the relationship between the wizard and Aros, cozy in the end, the end of Dagon (2001), it fits his arc, the sea-peoples, the end of Star Wars (1977) everybody gets a medal, Chewie: hey where’s my medal?, the robots just get a nice polish, Jade, she’s not his mom?, he has a story, he’s Azteca, his tattoos and his scars, who am i without my scars?, who are you without your trauma?, the horror of dementia, in practicing for his role, he becomes his role, those connections are potential real vs. the fake grift, bicycles, cannon, pistol, characterization, a Larry Niven fantasy world potentials are much greater, the Lord Of The Rings series just set in Middle Earth, the estate is not the caretaker, these are the rules, this is the premise, caves, tanks, a good plot idea, pretty interesting, oh, this is that!, Aros is the Conan figure, The Scarlet Citadel and Hour Of The Dragon, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Fritz Leiber, a conman team, the wizard trainee, that’s cute, as analogs, some Robert E. Howard names in here: the bad lady/man wizard, Belit, through Conan’s eyes, a river that has bad stuff coming out of it, the mer-folk, the octopeople, an octopus showing a face on its body, effluent from a factory, coal tar, a deliberate plan or just an externality from capitalism, the poisoned river, poison sounds bad, the boxing match sailor, Dorgan the first mate, the nephew of the captain, kinda dumb, that’s a Dennis Dorgan, presented with possibilities, fun?, the Red Nun the Red Priestess in A Game Of Thrones?, a nun costume, nuns are just Halloween costumes, a Rolodex full of nuns, binders full of nuns, not a complete waste of time, its about philosophy, King Kull, almost no action, how do I exist?, is this solipsism, there are forces in the world that want you to obey, what happens at the end of every Conan episode, the anomaly, he goes into a wizard house and there’s a monkey in there, monkeys shouldn’t get too uppity, its anti-Dungeons & Dragons, Age Of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, it’s the things, new armor, new mount, set dressing, the exercise of philosophy, how to be, analyzing books, a hero’s arc, find a home, Conan is completely unreal, trying to live like Conan is impossible, even Grizzly Adams had a bear, you must live in some sort of community, Conan would never be a tax-collector, thief, reiver, tax-collector?, referencing The Burning City, tax-farming, the traditional way of tax collection, corruption that’s out in public, if this is our Conan figure, he’s against civilization, top down telling people how to be, how the Conan stories work, Conan fan fiction about King Conan, The Hour Of The Dragon, the Eisenhower/JFK figure, FDR, a less dead Julius Caesar or JFK, How To Become A Tyrant, a Zenda situation, possibilities were amazing, a found family story, the hint was enough, when Aros feels this, Kasha, quite interesting, the battle sequences with the grubs, the politics of the city were interesting, the kids on the street, a puppet king, continuing to play dumb, pivoting hips, every character has something going, Jesse was kinda impress, a fantasy with a plot, entertaining’s not enough, engaging, an appetizer vs. a full meal, this all works on its own, all new characters, a nice balance, Not Long Before the End, a magic user and a swordsman team up, if you’re going to do a TV show do this book, graphic and cinematic, Magic Goes Away as an art film, steampunk show, they have the technology, if you’re going to steal go right to the source, a Turner And Hooch tv series, a different way of telling stories, ok as a novel, much better (as a potential) with the same material, to call it entertaining is an insult, paddleball, its a thing people do, grokking a great book, returning to the status quo, what TV fundamentally understands, Blindspot, how you get to season 7 of Prison Break, NCIS, CSI, we’re solving mysteries with tech, Locard’s principle, Tom Hanks and a dog, you can fail upward very easily in Hollywood, spending time in Larry Niven’s playground, the Road of Kings, we did Dream Park and found it wanting, pre-holodeck, Westworld (1973).

The Seascape Tattoo by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes

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The SFFaudio Podcast #589 – TOPIC: WORLDCON 2020

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #589 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Trish E. Matson, Evan Lampe, and Alec Nevala-Lee talk about WorldCon 2020.

Talked about on today’s show:
WorldCon had some panels, Hugo Awards 2020, George R.R. Martin, 3.5 hours long, we love the stories but maybe on a panel, Robert Silverberg, Jeannette Ng Astounding Award Speech that won a Hugo, Alec Nevala-Lee on John W. Campbell, bottle of scotch, Retro Hugos 1945, magazines in 1945, rules for Best Series Hugo, Arkham House, hero pulps, continue the Retro Hugos?, Leigh Brackett, Clifford Simak, C.L. Moore’s “No Woman Born”, New Zealand authors, Sir Julius Vogel Awards, Vogel Award voting packets, where was New Zealand in the award ceremony, WorldCon is a fan convention, WorldCon is a party put on by fans that we get to attend, gravitation field has shifted, mispronouncing names, award shows in general, Hugos are often tedious, fanzines have been buried – now they are all available, DIY History, University of Iowa, Leigh Brackett’s The Science Fiction Field, lists, Pellucidar better than Derleth’s contribution to Cthulhu Mythos, audience for younger writers, affording new books, R.F. Kuang, Poppy War, Lovecraft Country, The City and the City, libraries, a 35 cent book should today be $3.50, successful writers doing Patreons to help ends meet, Arkady Martine, A Memory Called Empire, local conventions, S.B. Divya, Becky Chambers, “Run-Time”, “To Be Taught, if Fortunate”, Wayfarers Trilogy, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, afrofuturism, Who Fears Death, Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick, Tade Thompson’s Rosewater, 2006 Worldcon, David Brin, “Killer B’s And A V”, Brin, Benford, Bear, Vinge, Karl Schroeder, get New Zealand another one, WorldCon bids, Chicago, Saudi Arabia, not feeling safe to go places, Dublin, should WorldCon have some kind of minimum standards of safety for attendees or trust voters to reject unsafe places, Memphis, Chengdu, China, travel to the United States, always expensive to go somewhere when you’re poor, kudos to CoNZealand volunteers, con panels are like podcasts every hour, Prisoners of Gravity, Fritz Leiber, Kim Stanley Robinson, doing research, lack of recordings of panels, loss of oral history of the genre, dealer’s room, do we have to have conventions?, environmental costs, Olympics ought to have one Olympic village at Athens and use it every 4 years, face to face has advantages, any future bids should include plans for a healthy and vigorous virtual component, Jesse likes podcasts better, comments better on Zoom than in person because no hijacking, Discord was used as if it were the hotel, breaking news: panels will be archived at Toronto’s Merrill Collection, CoNZealand Fringe panels, Gary K. Wolfe, near future SF, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, The Population Bomb, near future SF tends to be cautionary, writing more positive futures, Joe Haldeman, F&SF, Asimov’s, Analog, print!, the masquerade, Alec Nevala-Lee on feelings about award name change, a new Hugo category “Best Non-Fiction Work” where scholars can be recognized, what he is writing now, Buckminster Fuller, Syndromes short story collection, thanks to WorldCon volunteers.

Posted by Jesse Willis
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The SFFaudio Podcast #519 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #519 – Jesse and Paul Weimer talk about new paperbooks, audiobooks, audio drama, and comics.

Talked about on today’s show:
it stacks up, yo!, a book for review?, 10-15 books a week!, Mr Slow, a good result, Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee, Becoming Superman: My Journey From Poverty To Hollywood by J. Michael Straczynski will be narrated by Peter Jurasik, no Centauri accent, a yummy sausage, why do book titles end :A Novel, making yourself more fancy, a literary pretension, The Luminous Dead: A Novel?, Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan, a rhyme or reason to their thinking, serious literature, why do we need to know that?, the middle initial, affectation, pen names, standard hat, maybe it works?, superpower, Luke Burrage’s Science Fiction Book Review Podcast review of Thin Air, mean Martian tunnels, two books in one box, a duology that came together, Markswoman and Mahimata by Rati Mehrotra, secondary world fantasy, audio of the first book, 11 hours, The Luminous Dead: A Novel by Caitlin Starling, it sounds good, caving on a foreign planet, spelunking, The Descent (2005), caves of New York, Minnesota, South Dakota, maps and caves, two cool maps, Dungeons & Dragons maps, The Nameless City by H.P. Lovecraft, Annihilation, The Martian, Adenrele Ojo, The Ten Thousand Doors Of January by Alix E. Harrow, portal fantasy, H.G. Wells’ The Door In The Wall, time travel stories as portal fantasies, Dilation by Max Hochrad, very high level, what exactly is going on, a much bigger world than we get to see, world-building to serve the story, an elf on a log, the trailer for Dilation, Do You Want To Know More?, B7 Media, Spiteful Puppet did Robin Of Sherwood audio drama, Big Finish, new Doctor Who, so many Doctors, more visually going on with sound, BBC iPlayer Radio App or BBC Sounds, The Prisoner is really good, sitting with the ideas, Patrick McGoohan, it becomes existential, exploration, the purpose and meaning of things, Mabinogi, ancient Welsh mythology, spending time 1000 years ago, the only thing comparable in North America is the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s Dark Adventure Radio Theatre, The Lurking Fear audio drama is coming this summer, C.H.U.D.s, more audio drama, so much great audio drama is being made, our job, there’s too much, an intended 1984 dystopia, what exactly is going on, Dragonshadow: A Heartstone Novel by Elle K. White, The Coming Storm by Mark Alpert, feeling like a techno-thriller, political dystopic, climate change, Travelers, Tom Clancy books, turn that flag upside down, House Of Cards, Nightflyers by George R.R. Martin, the TV adaptation, the Michael Praed movie of Nightflyers (1987), Children Of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Children Of time, how Paul manages to read paperbooks, no time for papercomics, UK authors, is there more money in audio than in paper?, only in audio releases, Audible.ca vs. Audible.com, The Pandora Room by Christopher Golden, Pandora’s box, The Phantom Empire 1935 serial, a western science fiction, Flash Gordon 1936 serial, yellowfacing, and Nicholas Cage as Fu Manchu, Machete, Hobo With A Shotgun, he’s from Mongo, Last Tango In Cyberspace: A Novel by Steven Kotler, something William Gibson wrote about a protagonist named “Case” (or Cacye), coolhunters, leaning tight, The Fire Opal Mechanism by Fran Wilde, magical jewels and people who resonate with them, a fun read, We Are Mayhem by Michael Moreci, Black Star Renegades, everybody likes Star Wars right?, robots and space battles, a 5 page glossary, a galactic rebellion, its exactly Star Wars, doing it your own way, since watching The Orville, Star Trek: Discovery‘s bad writing and not caring about science, Star Wars has a lot of baggage, killed off on a whim, Mark Hamill, answering honestly, wipe the slate clean, I shouldn’t walk out of the Star Wars experience and say “Really?”, going down the midichlorian walk, like Dune but awful, Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, just change the VIN, what a concept!, they don’t need Klingons, The Orville is great science fiction, I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist, epic fantasy, The Rage Of Dragons by Evan Winter, epic fantasy, a peculiar audiobook, Jesse’s mom does not know him, A Peculiar Curiosity by Melanie Cossey, speaking of being read to…, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Rainn Wilson, for adults?, jumping to the island of conclusions, Paul would not say no, For The Killing Of Kings by Howard Andrew Jones, The Three Musketeers meets the Chronicles of Amber, Paul does pre-orders, deep explorations are not always needed, looking for fun, fantasy fun, an oversized hardcover from AfterShock Comics Out Of The Blue by Garth Ennis and Keith Burns, the war between, The Punisher, Nick Fury, TKO Presents, Sara by Garth Ennis and Steve Epting, Marvel Comics, Conan The Barbarian, Savage Sword Of Conan, Age Of Conan: Belit, Belit’s adventures as a young princess, why always starting as princesses?, go a-reaving, The Savage Sword Of Conan: The Original Marvel Years 1000 pages, Roy Thomas, new stuff from old stuff, Fleet Of Knives by Gareth L. Powell, Embers Of War, its better than it sounds, Ack-Ack Macaque, lots-o-fun, space opera, Powers Of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula by Bram Stoker and Valdimar Ásmundsson, R.C. Bray, a little bit of sexiness, a strange sidebar, The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion, Titan Books, he or she is doing everything, maybe its a house name, the technospace where you get house names to narrate, face-swap -> audio-swap, the Christopher Lee narrating a book from 2029, creepy cool, Chatting Science Fiction: Selected Interviews From The Hour Of The Wolf, WBAI, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kim Stanley Robinson, Samuel R. Delany, Cory Doctorow, Ray Bradbury, Nalo Hopkinson, Peter S. Beagle, China Mieville, Orson Scott Card, Lucius Shepard, Nancy Kress, Ken Liu, Charlie Jane Anders, Genevieve Valentine, Susanna Clarke, Connie Willis, a curiosity, Larry Niven books turning to audiobooks, A Gift From Earth, World Of Ptavvs, Bronson Pinchot, The Moon Maze Game a new Dream Park novel, Grover Gardner, a new cover, our show on Dream Park, Inconstant Moon, a classic, Steve Barnes, The Seascape Tattoo, The Magic Goes Away episode, All The Myriad Ways, The Secret Of Black Ship Island, Jerry Pournelle, The Burning City pissed Paul the beep off, blunt and pointed, senility setting in, Building Harlequin’s Moon, Brenda Cooper, does it spark delight?, terraforming, everyone starts regressing, Brenda Cooper does good writing with Larry Niven, set in the Ringworld universe, The Integral Trees, The Smoke Ring, physics problems, an adventure to explore what ideas Larry Niven has spun up, you definitely need to do this one and here’s why:, Bowl Of Heaven, The Very Best Of the Best: 35 Years Of The Year’s Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois, Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Nancy Kress, Greg Egan, Stephen Baxter, Pat Cadigan, 3 2 1, Exhalation: Stories By Ted Chiang, a new collection of Ted Chiang, Random House Audio, some copy that lives up to the hype, Ted Chiang: A Novel, Tony C. Smith’s StarShip Sofa podcast, an amazing story, Anxiety Is The Dizziness Of Freedom, standard Ted Chiang awesomeness, every three or four years he writes a story, the anti-Ken Liu, finally justified, REAL science fiction, GENUINE, “proto-technology of nano-realms”, Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson, Paul’s in a mood, INTERSTELLAR VOYAGES ARE IMPOSSIBLE, a hard truth, Aurora, the Chinese are going to the Moon, a really, really good writer, Jesse is so slow, In The Land Of Time: And Other Fantasy Tales by Lord Dunsany, edited by S.T. Joshi, Steven Crossley, pub tales, Dunsany is beautiful to hear, Clark Ashton Smith, funny and bittersweet tragic fun, LibriVox, one of these books, Who? by Algis Budrys, The Man In The Iron Mask, never made the A-team, the low end of the b-team, his biggest home run, 6 hours long, this ridiculous Cold War, propaganda, there was no “missile gap”, irrelevant and completely relevant again, Rogue Moon, an evil game show?, adapted into the film Moon (2009), hmmmmm.

Dilation - B7 Media

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Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #503 – READALONG: The Wood Beyond The World by William Morris

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #503 – Jesse and Evan Lampe talk about The Wood Beyond The World by William Morris

Talked about on today’s show:
1894/1896, novel?, fairy tale, romance, one of the first fantasy novels set in a secondary world, why people point to this, a pseudo-medieval style, very soothing, hypnotically engaged, The Magic Flute, tied to our world, utopias, many interesting connections out of this, how impressive it is, the power this book has is not in itself, J.R.R. Tolkien, modern traditional fantasy in novel length (or trilogy length), it gives fantasy its modern shape, medivale in manners and technology, “bend the knee”, George R.R. Martin’s Game Of Thrones, re-entered the lexicon, coming from science fiction fandom, something Promethean about science fiction, Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, The Return Of The King, a conservatism in fantasy, what a socialist would do with fantasy, News From Nowhere, forward looking anti-capitalism vs. backward looking anti-capitalism, radical elements, not a conservative tale, George R.R. Martin, everything that’s disgusting, George R.R. Martin is the anti-Tolkien, Tolkienesque, a little talk of war, getting into the groove, difficult but rewarding, The Night Land as Hodgson’s take on The Wood Beyond The World, dying earth, quest, Supernatural Horror In Literature, potent, old fashioned language, Thomas Malory, William Shakespeare, 600 years ago, fetishizing of strange words, bucking people off, the Wikipedia entry, Golden Walter and the maid, a goddess and a slave and a mistress, the dwarf, powers, in control of so much of the story, radicalism, a slave revolt, commute listening, Cori Samuel’s narration, the language, more time, themes he’s working with, the old coincidence formula, the only through-line is that is a book, are the bear people actually bears or are they actually people?, interbreeding, orcs, more like vikings, values, a humanoid creature, something feral, Beowulf, what’s going on in the woods, about Morris’ own life, a fascinating powerful figure, socialist, anti-capitalist, the establishment, so busy, an artist, a factory owner, newspaper, bookbinding, the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, was it easier back in those days, born into wealth, quitting jobs, his own life story, an escape from his own life story, escapist, Childhood’s End, a critique, an opting out tale, a walkaway tale, American Writers (One Hundred Pages at a Time) podcast, Frodo never wanted to leave, one of the most famous faces from the 19th century, Jane Burden, art history, the Pre-Raphaelites are not before Raphael, what didn’t they like about Raphael?, the northern renaissance, detail rules, early doctrines, studying nature attentively, attention in the places not normally given attention, eyebrows and ivy, a style, Rossetti, Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, cheating and living together in the same house, Blunt, Cosima Liszt, Richard Wagner, a social activist who wants to empower women, chapter 10, in comparison to me, all women are the same woman in this book, are you really a goddess?, the flowers start blooming, promises, not their true relationship, a really deep thinker, written as an escape, an escape from the personal displeasures of one’s own life, when socialist were claiming this was a political tract, socialist allies, the revolutionary narrative, lifestylism, veganism, a call for more broad political action, the personal, being a hobo, walk the earth, a rich merchant family, is he 70?, as young men are mostly wont, knowing how to forbear, a trusty warfellow, Langton means boring, the passing of the names backwards and forwards, Hansens are sons of Han, the poetic stuff, all poetry, all the Ls, manifest tokens, she hates him, Dad I gotta leave, his dad has been murdered by his wife’s family, a descent warrior, the traditional hero, he chooses to go back, the coincidence, a cycle of violence, the old man, very Odysseus, how did you inherit this house, empire and the cycle of violence, that old man wants Golden Walter to be his son and heir and to slay him, something going on below the surface, the Zen Buddhism of William Morris, not to give into resentment, why is the wife sour on Golden Walter, the most noble of hosts, a sad story, don’t seek out the maid, that woman, how knowst?, war breaks out among the bear people, the cyclical story, 36 chapters, pretty big for a small book, Carl is the Scandinavian word for dude, The Walking Dead, house carls, here is a man, good in a fray, rather wiser than foolish men are mostly wont, Odysseus’s men, The Odyssey, a series of scenes that allow you to interact with strangers, stealing cheese and drinking wine, the proper response to dealing with strangers, houseguests, him and his girl, the first foreigner who shows up becomes king, god and catholicism, a religious element, more like an elf than a goddess, JSTOR, down on academic stuff for academic purposes, the scaffolding, Debbie Zapata, Goodreads, quest for love, verily, “…but next I must needs tell thee of things whereof I wot, and thou wottest not.”, to wot is to know, crispy hair, naked, from a real person, crispy = curly or wavy, he louted to the lady, lout = bent, stoop, or bow, villain = bad guy (or serf), we have adopted the values of the lower upper class, an Americanism, egalitarian social relations, boss replaced master, a honorific, working class language, chief, is language separable from a class system?, dozens of different types of people, very rigid structure, poor laws, the basket of deplorables, white on white hate, redneck, hillbilly, Morris thought class was a huge problem, Friedrich Engels, visiting Iceland, a resource poor nation, guiding philosophy, in assembling News From Nowhere, how the working class are getting the shaft, the position of the police in the class system, social justice, the poorest in Scotland, they all have copies of News From Nowhere in their homes, the return to the Middle Ages, a more egalitarian time, the village, the collectivity, the slaveholders in the American South, Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, slave collars, a wedding ring as a symbol of slavery to another person, he literally leaves planet earth, as escapist as you can get, not a normal political work, about the class system, when Lovecraft was a little kid, the mad Arab Abdul Al Hazred, his superhero name, reading The Arabian Nights, as a child William Morris convinced his parents to buy him a full suit of armor, all forty of Sir Walter Scott’s books by the age of seven, absolutely bursting with ideas, Tolkien’s dwarves in The Hobbit, the Saga of the Volsungs, Gandalf, this is where it starts, Tolkien is a country gentleman, Tolkien adores the class system, “Oh Mr Frodo, sir!”, all the rich people go to the land to the west (Elysium), the movies, where you start in life effects what you’re interested in, Jon’s World by Philip K. Dick, an alternate reality, Souvenir by Philip K. Dick, that same fascination for the middle ages, a race system, the idea of the “Boss”, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, the ethos of the hardworking American go-getter, thoughtlessly recreating the industrial revolution in Medieval England, we’re not slaves, The Wages Of Whiteness: Race And The Making Of The American Working Class by David R. Roediger, obsession with minstrel shows, what we think through and what we don’t think though, the Milwaukee Brewers, “problematic” team names, baseball, a course on sports history, Any Given Sunday (1999), what makes something good (the work that went into it that you don’t see), fetishizing the aesthetic, Le Morte d’Arthur, Lancelot, a super epic internal struggle, a wound that can’t heal, betrayal and atonement, the Holy Grail, Morgan Le Fay, Mordred, a bastard product of incest, traditional Hawaiian royalty, Excalibur (1981), The Well At World’s End, tough listening, webbed language, pre-television and pre-literacy word weaving, the episodic nature of The Odyssey, telling tales, coming from a real place, not a book I would recommend to everybody, a book about escaping the more serious things one does all day long, one of the busiest men ever, escape from WWI, Elfish, The Silmarillion, what that leaves out, this is all a way to escape the world, somebody named Kavanaugh, his comrades, all they’re about, a more complex person, eight hour work day, a choice that he made, why the Arts and Crafts movement, made shittly, factory jobs, intellectually, the degradation of work, scientific management, Philip K. Dick, the tinkerer or the repairman, Galactic Pot-Healer, The Hanging Stranger, the ethos of work, Henry Ford’s creation seem antithetical, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, post-scarcity, technology as a way to free us, the mental a physical connection, the horror of capitalism, Sales Pitch by Philip K. Dick, robots who replace you, Human Is, there’s nothing to do, that industrial equation, the uselessness of his job, coming from an industrial fixer, the pot was terrible, The Man In The High Castle, the jewellery making, abstract zen koan art, that tiny influence, something new created, a fantasy of escape, very important, this is the beginning, the Glimmung, you’re needed you have value, restore a cathedral, what is more epic?, so metaphorical, you can see the strivings the longings, these are not entertainments, Dick’s commercial strivings, Morris’ book was self published, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, passionate visionaries, why people point to this book, once it clicked in, James Joyce’s Ulysses, one guy’s bad day, his wife’s cheating on him during the day, humiliation, masturbating on a beach, head to feet, people having there wife cheat on them, I can’t go home so I might as well write this book.

Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Posted by Jesse Willis